Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Givin' back.

Spring has sprung! And with spring's arrival, I think we all are doing some spring cleaning around our houses. One of our spring cleaning tasks is to tackle Bean's toys. She's been around now for three whole years and there are some things that she has decided she is too big to play with. Um hum. That's the tune she sings until I go in and try to box and bag things up. Then all I hear is "that's mine".

Courtesy of rogans.org.

While trying to figure out what to get rid of and what to keep, I realized just how many stuffed animals this kid has collected. It surprised me because she hardly ever plays with these things. She has one or two she will always go back to, even one that she five-finger-discounted from her cousins. Shush. Don't tell 'em. They all already think Bean is the biggest klepto around. She can be but we are trying to discourage this behavior.

We have a mound of stuffed animals that have never really been played with. I don't want to toss them. I don't really want to give them to Goodwill, either. I don't know of any other family out there that is in need of these things. What do you do with them?

I started searching online for places that might accept them as donations. After beginning my search, I just had a "duh" moment. There are quite a few charities out there that can benefit from your mound of stuffed animals. I thought I'd share the information I found with you all.  I know our house isn't the only one out there overrun with these furry loveables.  Just think if you could bring a smile to a homeless child or a child in distress or a child that is stuck in a hospital somewhere, that would be the best gift of all, right?

SAFE - Stuffed Animals for Emergencies. SAFE takes your donated stuffed animals, baby blankets, and books and distributes them to children in emergency situations like hurricanes, fires, and floods. They also distribute items to police agencies to hand out to children who find themselves in situations like child abuse, accidents, and in times of separation from their parents or families.

Ronald McDonald House Charities. All I can say about The Ronald McDonald Houses are Thank God we haven't had to use their services but Thank God they are there for families that do need them.

Project Night Light. Project Night Light only has a few chapters right now but they do accept toy donations from all over. They donate their Night Night Packages to homeless children in shelters to make their stays and their lives feel a little more secure. The packages include a stuffed animal, a book, and a blanket.

You can also donate your items to local women's and children's shelters, local police agencies and local children's hospitals. Just start looking around your area and I'm sure, unfortunately, you will find places in need of these items.

If you know of any other worthy charities that accept stuffed animal donations, please leave the information in the comments section below. Also, if this post inspires you to donate your items, please post that as well.  It is always wonderful to hear about people taking the time to help.

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